Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Nathan Hayward III recently announced he will retire, effective Feb. 1, so he can give appropriate attention to his recently diagnosed cancer.
“I am optimistic that with good medical care, we will get through it,” Hayward, 62, told the Delaware State News in an interview. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks ago. Hayward met with Gov. Ruth Ann Minner last week to let her know of his plans.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal,” he told reporters. Hayward said he and his wife Marilyn “feel very strongly that we would like as many years together as the Lord gives us for each other and our sons.” Hayward said he will stay through January to assist the governor’s staff in preparing the chief executive’s annual budget recommendations.
“Secretary Hayward has worked diligently with the community and our elected representatives for the past five years to ensure the many transportation needs and concerns of our citizens are addressed,” Gov. Minner said. “He has done good job making sure DelDOT responds to those concerns, and I thank him for his service to our state.” Minner noted that Hayward most recently led a special department task force that laid out a blueprint for the future of Delaware’s transportation system in a report issued last week.
Hayward in his years at DelDOT was known as a leader by example, putting in long hours, working nights and weekends and periodically stepping into his employees’ jobs to get a feel for their working experiences. “I have been in or on every piece of equipment DelDOT uses,” he said. “I firmly believe you cannot be an effective leader sitting behind your desk.”
The governor has not yet named an acting or permanent successor to Hayward, who in addition to his transportation work for Gov. Minner also served in the administration of former Delaware Gov. Pierre S. DuPont as director of the Office of Management, Budget and Planning, and in the administration of DuPont and former Gov. Michael N. Castle as director of the Delaware Development Office.